Contract chip-maker UMC falls to No. 3 spot

Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp.'s (UMC, ??) ranking as a major supplier in the global wafer foundry market fell one notch to third in 2015 from a year earlier after it suffered a fall in revenue that year, according to information technology market advisory firm Gartner Inc.

However, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), another Taiwanese chip-maker, retained its position as largest worldwide supplier as the firm outperformed the global wafer foundry industry in 2015, Gartner said.

In a research report posted on its website on Tuesday, Gartner said that UMC was replaced by U.S.-based GlobalFoundries Inc. to fall to the No. 3 spot with the Taiwanese firm having posted US$4.56 billion in sales, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier.

The fall in revenue left UMC with a 9.3 percent share of the world's contract chip market, while GlobalFoundries grabbed a 9.6 percent global market share, Gartner said. GlobalFoundries posted US$4.67 billion in sales in 2015, up 6.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the advisory firm.

For its part, TSMC posted US$26.57 billion in sales in 2015, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier, while the global wafer foundry market witnessed its revenue rise a mere 4.4 percent year-on-year, Gartner said. TSMC took a 54.3 percent share of the global market for the year.

TSMC's FinFet

Gartner said that TSMC's sales growth in 2015 was driven by its efforts in the development of chips based on its 20 nanometer and 16 nanometer FinFET (FinField-effect-transistor) processes, which helped the chip-maker secure orders for application processors and the baseband modern chip supply in the global market.

The FinFET technology is a 3D transistor structure that allows a chip to run faster than previously possible on the same amount of power or to run at the same speed on reduced power.

Samgsung Electronics Co. of South Korea came in fourth with 5.3 percent of the market in 2015, unchanged from a year earlier. Samsung posted US$2.61 billion in contract chip making sales, up 8.1 percent from a year earlier.

Source: China post

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